For centuries, the Caucasus has come to be a battlefield of empires and imperial motives. We consider this situation a barrier to our collective willpower towards democratic and civil political conditions in the region. Despite our historical memory and consciousness of exile, genocide and war, we believe that all parties involved in this process have a crucial role to play in the resolution of these conflicts. We, without any hesitation, support participatory democracy, freedom, human rights and mutual understanding as the cine qua nons of our struggle for peace.
The current situation evidently damages the ground for negotiation, dialogue and mutual understanding. The history has shown that any effort to resolve political problems and conflicts by means of force and cruelty has only brought about destruction, humiliation, violence and death. On the one hand, within this context, the ongoing conflicts and wars have revealed that Russian authorities act quite indifferently to criticisms. They do not show any sign of willingness to open up spaces for negotiation towards democratic conflict resolutions. On the other, we are also well aware of the fact that there are strong oppositions in Russia of Russia’s inhuman and imperial policies and activities in Caucasia. These counter discourses and voices have shown us the bright face of Russia with their consistent efforts to address to ethnic violence, racist propaganda, discriminatory practices and repressive policies committed by Russian authorities.
We once again underline that we are concerned about what is happening. We condemn vigorously Russian authorities, President Putin and FSB for their brutal acts to silence these opposing voices and critical thoughts.
Caucasus Forum, Turkey
02 December 2006